Firstly, due to the absence of sulphates as a preservative, natural wines can be a fairly unstable product, meaning that often there can be quality issues with the wines. The result of this is that many producers are reluctant to risk losing out on an entire vintages work and investment should issues with spoilage arrive. This sadly means that, for the time being at least, natural wines remain something of a rarity on UK shelves. It is therefore quite exciting to be able to bring you natural wines from an esteemed Rhone Valley producer who appears to have hit that sweet spot between quality, reliability and value for money.
The Les Vignerons D'Estézargues estate may have access to grapes grown over 400 hectares of land, but actively shuns the practice of bulk wine production. Every drop of wine that they produce is bottled on the estate and impressively over half of their annual production is sold directly from the 'cellar door'.
The wines themselves are classic Rhone Valley blends of Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanche, and Bourboulenc for the white, and Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Mourverde and Cinsault make up the red. They are both vibrant wines with none of the farmyard aromas which are often present in low sulphate wines. We have been consistently pleased with the wines from this excellent estate and if natural wine producers can maintain this kind of quality and consistency then I'm sure that low and no sulphite wines could have a bright future!